The widow of a man killed on the M1 when he was struck by an HGV travelling at 56mph said it wouldn’t have happened if Smart motorways hadn’t been introduced.

Claire Mercer, wife of Jason Mercer who died in the collision last year, said the wrong person was being punished after HGV driver Prezemyslaw Szuba (pictured) was jailed for 10 months following his guilty plea for causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

Szuba was travelling along the M1, near to Junction 34, in June 2019, when he collided with Mercer and Alexandru Murgeanu, killing the two men instantly.

Both drivers had been involved in a minor road traffic collision moments earlier and they had pulled over to exchange details.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that at the time of the incident the motorway was open and all four lanes were subject to the national speed limit of 70 mph.

Weather conditions were dry and fine.

The forensic collision investigator concluded that, while both drivers breached the Highway Code by not moving to a hard shoulder area following their collision, the primary responsibility lay with the defendant’s failure to recognise the stationary transit van.

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Following the accident, Mercer has pursued a campaign to halt the use of all-lane running motorways.

Speaking after the case, Mercer said she wanted to see all-lane running banned: “It wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t a Smart motorway,” she said.

“Why should we carry on punishing the individual? We are fire-fighting each time.

“The events would not have taken place had there been a hard shoulder.”

She added: “We don’t believe the right person is taking responsibility for the massive detrimental effects on our lives.”

Investigating Officer Mark Bradey said: “My thoughts are firstly with the family of both Jason and Alexandru, they have not only lost their loved ones but have had to relive the tragedy during the court proceedings.

“Szuba pleaded guilty to the charges, accepted responsibility and spared the families further distress by going through a trial process.

“I hope today will bring some element of closure to Jason and Alexandru’s loved ones.”

As well as the 10-month sentence, Szuba was banned from driving for four years and five months and ordered to take an extended re-test.